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Course Description
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History - General History of Spain (Modern and Contemporary)
University of Barcelona (UB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
History 200, 300, 400 Spanish 1 20 Spanish 200 or equivalent

To introduce students to the history of Spain since the unification of the peninsula under the Catholic Monarchs (end of the 15th century) until the crisis of the Ancien Régime at the end of the 18th century. During this long period Spain was ruled by two monarchies – the Habsburg and Bourbons. The course deals with interesting periods such as the Empire of Charles V, the Austrias and the Reformation of the Bourbons. Visits to the historical area of Barcelona will show students the beginnings of the modern city

Syllabus (first term)

  • The Catholic Monarchs and the unification of the peninsula
  • The Habsburgs and Spanish hegemony in the 16th century: from Charles I’s Empire to Philip II’s Spanish Empire (1516-1598)
  • Decline of the Austrias and the crisis of the 17th century: from Philip III to Charles II (1598-1700)
  • 18th century Bourbon Reformism: from Philip V to Charles III (1700-1788)
  • The end of the century and the crisis of the absolute monarchy.

Reading List

Geografía e Historia de España y de los Países Hispánicos
, IBÉRICA, (1989), Barcelona, VicensVives.
COMELLAS, J.L., (1993), Historia de España moderna y contemporánea, Madrid, Rialp.
ELLIOT, J.H., (1991), España y su mundo (1500-1700), Madrid, Alianza.
EVANS, J.W., (1989), La monarquía de los Habsburgos (1550-1700), Barcelona, Labor.
KAMEN, H., (1996), Una sociedad conflictiva: España 1469-1714, Barcelona, Altaya.


A written examination is set at the end of the term, based on one general theme or on four specific themes. Students are also encouraged to produce a written paper on one of the themes studied during the course, under the supervision of the teacher.

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